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$750,000 allocated for new mural projects in second phase of 2021 Transformative Public Art program

The Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture awards grants to artists and organizations to create short-term public art projects and activations through the Transformative Public Art program.

Mayor Kim Janey and the Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture, in collaboration with the Boston Art Commission, today announced the City of Boston has allocated $750,000 in funding for mural projects at 10 sites across nine neighborhoods, with several more pending approval.


Photo: Transformative Public Art grantee Mz Icar’s mural "See Me" in Cambridge, courtesy of Lee Hopkins.

“Murals bring joy and inspiration to communities, and help revitalize our neighborhoods,” said Mayor Janey. “I hope Boston residents and visitors enjoy these beautiful works of art, and that these projects encourage those who pass by them to find creative ways to brighten where they live.”

This is the third year of the Transformative Public Art Program, through which the Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture awards grants to artists and organizations to create short-term public art projects and activations throughout the city. Earlier this month, 27 short-term public art projects and activations received grants totaling $323,950 as part of the program. 

Last year, 24 public art projects were awarded grants totaling $35,000. The program relaunched as a key part of the Mayor’s Joy Agenda, which is a citywide invitation, opportunity, and investment in the City’s collective well-being. This program aligns with the Joy Agenda’s goals to provide job opportunities for creative workers across various neighborhoods that contribute to the city’s recovery from COVID-19.

“Paying artists to integrate bold, new artwork throughout our neighborhoods is a step in the right direction as we focus on reopening our city and coming back together around the notion of joy and renewal,” said Kara Elliott-Ortega, Chief of Arts and Culture for the City of Boston. 

Mural projects include:

  • A mural at Mozart Park in Jamaica Plain by artist Roberto Chao, who will be working in collaboration with Hyde Square Task Force
  • A mural at the East Boston Senior Center by Alex Gerasev, who will be working in collaboration with the Age Strong Commission
  • Murals at the Engagement Center in Newmarket Square by art collective Mz. lcar and artist Alex Cook, who will be working in collaboration with the Office of Recovery Services
  • A mural at 158 Stratton St. in Dorchester by artist Melissa Mandel, who will work in collaboration with Youth Lead the Change
  • Three murals at Boston Housing Authority sites by by artists Victor “Marka27” Quiñonez, Cyrille Conan, and Mattaya Fitts
  • A mural in Allston commemorating Rita Hester and Transgender Day of Remembrance, proposed by Boston Artist-in-Residence Golden (artist pending)

“Our intention with this mural is to create a large love letter that encourages people to connect, feel empowered and seen,” said art collective and Transformative Public Art grantee Mz Icar. “Joy lives in the ability to be supported and represented in our environments. This upcoming mural will be a visual manifestation of that joy.”

The Office of Arts and Culture’s public art team will be working with consultant Liza Quiñonez, a creative entrepreneur and founder of the award winning urban contemporary art and design agency Street Theory, who will provide project administration services for the creation of the murals. Liza will provide artists with proposal development guidance, community engagement strategy and support, technical assistance, and on-site logistical mural production and installation support. 

“It’s an exciting time for mural-making in Boston and I look forward to working with all of the selected artists on bringing their vision to life in big and bold ways,” said Liza Quiñonez.

Many of the murals will be completed by this fall. To learn more about the Transformative Public Art Program and see the complete list of grantees, visit here.


The Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture is a City agency that enhances the quality of life, the economy, and the design of the City through the arts. The role of the arts in all aspects of life in Boston is reinforced through equitable access to arts and culture in every community, its public institutions, and public places. Key areas of work include support to the cultural sector through grants and programs, support of cultural facilities and artist workspace, as well as the commissioning, review, and care of art in public places

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